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Puppy training classes(4 Posts)
I'm researching and booking our puppy into a training class for when she's fully vaccinated. I've had a few availability dates sent back for when she's between 12 and 16 weeks old. So reasonable. Obviously they're all small classes and owners and trainers must observe social distancing. But, one has just come back saying puppies must also observe social distancing. This feels ridiculous, and means the class is not worth it. We are competent at training our dogs and want the classes for socialization. Is the trainer being unreasonable? The class starts at an ideal time for our pups age and vaccination, but I don't want to take her to a field with other pups and then stop her having play time with them, especially since she won't have been able to play with another dog for 4 weeks after leaving her litter mates!! Should I look for a different class, even if it's a bit later? Someone else is offering puppy play dates she could join in the mean time.
I don't think the trainer is unreasonable if it is advertised as a training class, and IMO a good one would never involve 'free for all' type play time anyway. If that's what you are looking for then I think you need something advertised as 'puppy play time/play date'.
Totally agree with the trainer saying social distancing between puppies.
Free play within puppy classes only causes trauma it is never a good idea to let puppies bundle in together.
Dogs need to be socialised which does not mean hands on with dogs. It means learning to ignore dogs, respect dogs space and listen to their owners whilst around dogs none of that is achieved through puppy play sessions.
You could go to the puppy classes and then assess the other puppies yourself and if you feel they are a suitable mix for your dog meet up with just one of the puppies - but this really is not necessary for socialisation.
If you want to socialise your puppy then ask the trainer for a 1-2-1 session and introduce your puppy to her dog (not puppy) that will be way more benefit to everyone involved.
You absolutely do not want a puppy class that allows puppies to free play. You really don't. That risks way more problems than it avoids.
You want your dog to have experience seeing other dogs but keeping her focus on you at all times - not going off to play. That still achieves a level of socilisation (closer to habituation) but avoids other dogs becoming a Far More Exciting Thing Than You, that causes excitement and stress later on.
A socially distanced puppy class sounds ideal, tbh.